Saturday, January 31, 2009
Friday, January 30, 2009
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
~my friend's cancellation for our night out tomorrow OR God's promise that He is indeed working all things for the good of those who love him
~the printer running out of ink as I was preparing to copy our history time-line figures OR the extra time to study science and here this one-of-a-kind quote, "Oh boy, Mom! We're studying testicles! It's testicle day!!! Mom, what's a testicle?"
~my daughter's antiobotic-induced diarrhea ALL OVER THE DINING ROOM FLOOR (and the subsequent cloroxing of floor, tub and clothes that followed) OR the pure joy and delight she found in a mid-afternoon bath
~the napped that she missed from the stomach ache OR the excuse it gave me to order a pizza for dinner (no cooking or cleaning tonight!)
~the enormous mess in the kitchen OR a wonderland full of learning toys that inspired Egyptian adventures and stories galore
~my husband's call that he will be late tonight OR his safe trip back from a day out of town
Sunday, January 25, 2009
This season Jaybird has continued swimming lessons that began in October (he hopes to be on a swim team in the spring) and has played basketball. I am indescribably proud of him. Playing team sports for him is like asking a child with dyslexia to read in front of the class, or worse, an auditorium full of people. Jaybird has sensory integration disorder and motor apraxia. Motor apraxia is a diagnosis often given to stroke victims. These people have difficulty getting messages from the brain to their bodies, especially with alternating sides of the body. As you can imagine, Jaybird would often rather avoid sports altogether.
Tonight is J's last night of basketball practice, preparing for his last game on Saturday. As usual, Upward sports has not disappointed him or us. We have been overwhelmed with gratitude towards one coach in particular. He has formed a very sweet bond with our little guy. J is mostly the slowest one, almost always at the end of the pack. Most of the games he has not even had the ball long enough to make a shot. But he tries very hard, and more importantly, he listens. This man basically took my son under his wing, without ever knowing about his motor apraxia. He sometimes ignores the rest of the boys to take the time to gently correct him and demand him to push himself harder and harder. They always seem to be together. And what I appreciate most is that this coach has never given up on Jaybird. At last Saturday's game, he caught J after the game and showed him a new move. He was alternating bouncing the ball under each knee with each hand. A globe-trotter-ish move, if you will. J watched closely, but had no clue where to begin. So Coach said, "Go home and get your Dad to help you. If you can do it at practice, I'll give you a candy bar. If not, you have to watch me eat the candy bar." Andy and J practiced for an hour with no luck. Andy said this skill was just too difficult for him right now. But they would continue to practice and get it eventually.
So tonight at practice J will watch Coach eat the candy bar. Oh well, he deserves it as much as Jaybird, if not more. The encouragment, hope and love he has given to J (and indirectly to us) is much, much sweeter!
**Updated: He did earn the candy bar! This kid never ceases to surprise me. Coach took J's face into his hands and told him how proud he was. Unforgettable!
Friday, January 23, 2009
And then we had lunch at a very cool Mellow Mushroom.
And we were back to the museum for the 3-D movie on pyramids and mummification.
I am grateful for an amazing opportunity! I was inspired by the Egyptians obsession with the afterlife. If only we would set our sights more often on heaven with the One True God! And we don't even have to earn his love during this life. I was thinking a lot about the freedom we have in Christ, as opposed to the slavery of life lived under the pressure of earning a right standing with "the gods". I am very thankful today.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Hymn's for a Kid's Heart- beautiful stories to go along with our favorites. We already learn a hymn each month. Why not supplement with this beautiful book?
Ancient Egyptian Art-for more in-depth information on our favorite ancient civilization.
Raising a Modern Day Knight- for Andy to read. The cover and title are a little cheesy to me. But some ladies that I admire gave the book rave reviews.
A new English book for the kindergartner that begs for a challenge.Mostly all supplemental choices. Except for Toot's Grammar, we are staying the course. It has been so much fun! There, I got all that down with 3 minutes to spare!
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
We've been a little preoccupied with making baby steps to a diaper free home! Or should I say a puddle-free home?The bathroom has been transformed. Isn't the new decor lovely?
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Saturday, January 17, 2009
1. The anticipation of snow- hoping to make our first snowman together this year
7. Indoor field trips- museums, especially
Thursday, January 15, 2009
I, on the other hand, hate this time of year. I always seem unhappy and even a little sad, for no apparent reason. Maybe it is the weather and less outdoor outings or because my kids always seem to get sick around this time. It could be post-Christmas blues (even though I mentally welcome normalcy after the holidays). And this year, I am sure my husband's new job in an office (as opposed to downstairs) has a lot to do with it. I wish I knew exactly the reason.
One disadvantage of struggling through January is the fact that schools are beginning to enroll for next year. One hard week of homeschooling can make me question our decision as a whole. Today we had to take a day off in order for me to catch up around the house. I had to force myself to see this flexibility as an advantage and not a failure. This morning I listened to my friend tell me about "Colonial Day" at my son's old school. It stung a little, as I have been praying for more friends for my children. (I am realizing that unless your children's playmates are your neighbors or homeschoolers, it is very difficult to maintain friendships around differing school schedules. That has been a painful realization!)
While I am sharing my struggles, I will also admit that I feel a need for more time alone with my baby. I experienced weekly gym class, playgroups, and library time with the boys individually when they were toddlers. I miss that with Lydie. It is rare for me to go anywhere alone with her, and now much less probable without Andy around during the day.
Lastly, I am starved for more time to use my own gifts/talents. Some months there is not a minute for any of that. I don't feel I can be the best at anything else without these outlets. But with three little ones, I frequently have to let it go.
I hesitate to share all of these negatives thoughts. I certainly do not want to discourage anyone that might be considering home schooling their own little ones. But I think if you are called to this task, this little post would certainly not convince you otherwise. Only, maybe make you aware of what to expect, or even how to avoid these pitfalls altogether. If you have read any of my posts in the past, it should be pretty obvious that I mostly treasure this time with my children. And besides, many of my good friends have their children in public or private school and are much, much more overwhelmed than I am.
That's all for now. I am not going to offer any advice to myself like I usually do. Hanging on and searching for His guidance...again. Is it spring yet???
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Monday, January 12, 2009
I have vowed not to be a Mommy that bans paint and other messy projects, no matter how tempting. Having said that, I admit to turning my head and biting my lip when she made this little creation. She just couldn't be quite satisfied until the last drop of paint was used! I can still hear her now, "Wook, Mommy! Isn't it pwetty?" Her sweet words and excitement made it worth every last Clorox wipe.
Friday, January 09, 2009
Thursday, January 08, 2009
Tuesday, January 06, 2009
I, on the other hand, have to force myself to pick up a book. I do not have a burning curiosity for books like my son. I would much rather be decorating a corner of a room, writing, or planning. But I am determined to continue to read daily for pleasure. I like what reading does for me. For one, I like to continually have my worldview broadened as I learn about different people, cultures and beliefs. I appreciate the beauty of a paragraph well written. I need to continue the habit of quieting myself for a half hour (or more for a really good book). I like to escape into another world from time to time. And I like to be able to use the term "life-long learner" without being a hypocrite.
I had the CRAZY goal of reading 4 books a month last year- one fiction, one non-fiction, one theological, one parenting/homeschooling. I did not come close to meeting my goal. So this year, my goal is to read every day. This reading goal does not include reading from the Bible or my devotional book. If you know me, you know I always carry a book in the car. I like to take advantage of red light/traffic time. Obviously, this slow and steady concept will be difficult for me!
Here are my first four books on my "waiting" list:
~Mere Christianity (again)
~Relationships: A Mess Worth Making
Here are the books I read in 2008(with a * for the ones I really loved):
~The Purpose-Driven Life
~Searching for Eternity
~The Swan House
~Don Quixote (wretched)
~A Life That Says Welcome (*)
~Faithful Women and Their Extraordinary God (*)
~Bold Love (*)
~The Dwelling Place
~Wife in the North
~The Highly Sensitive Child
~Crazy Love (*)
Sunday, January 04, 2009
Saturday, January 03, 2009
What's a girl to do? Heart sick. The thing is, I know I have been guilty of counting the months until the baby can walk, talk, fill in the blank with the current "inconvenience". On the other hand, I try very hard to be in the moment with my children. But I don't succeed all the time. Mothering a baby or toddler is trying and challenging when balancing the rest of the children and house (with little sleep).
But, truly, what better thing do I have to do with my time? Sometimes I dream of what I will accomplish when I am a little more independent (or they are a little less dependent), but what is more thrilling, fulfilling, and eternally valuable than mothering a child?
"Just one more...one more?", I ask. Until the fever spreads (if it does at all), I'll hold my three sweethearts a little tighter. They are such treasures!
"I shall now have one mouth the more to fill, and two feet the more to shoe; more disturbed nights, more laborious days, and less leisure for visiting, reading, music and drawing. This is one side of the story to be sure, but I look at the other. Here is a sweet, fragrant mouth to kiss; here are two more feet to make music with their pattering about my nursery. Here is a soul to train for God, and the body in which it dwells is worthy of all it will cost, since it is the abode of a kingly tenant. I may see less of friends, but I have gained one dearer than them all, to whom, while I minister in Christ's name, I make a willing sacrifice of what little leisure for my own recreation, my other darlings had left me. Yes, my precious baby, you are welcome to your mother's heart, welcome to her time, her strength, her health, her tenderest cares, to her life-long prayers! Oh, how rich I am, how truly, how wondrously blessed!" ~Elizabeth Prentiss
Friday, January 02, 2009
Would you believe I was at Starbuck's for 4 hours completing the tasks on my list? I actually loved it. Especially the time I spent reading. For one morning, I was the lady with the coffee and the book. I was the one reading in an overstuffed chair on a Monday morning, as if I hadn't a responsibility in the world! I also enjoyed carrying a briefcase (my husband's) and working on his laptop. Between the dressy clothes (I always dress up when I am away from the kids) and the laptop, I was the professional-with-no-agenda-lady. I had time to dream into 2009, plan two months of lessons, and blog, among other things. If the other professional women knew that these were the items on my agenda, I think my false identity would have caused a revolt.
Finials and birds seemed to be the theme for the day
I wanted these little trees so badly this year for the front porch! They have lights and stand in black urns! But I could not afford the original $79.99. Alas, they were marked down to $19.99! Can't wait to use them next year!I also hit the used book store and thrift store, but came out empty-handed.
And that's what I did with 7 hours alone.
Thursday, January 01, 2009
It takes a lot of selflessness to be satisfied. Sometimes needs collide and someone has to sacrifice. Sometimes all our hopes, dreams and plans are not the way. Sometimes we feel like we can not go on in our current circumstances. And sometimes things do not change.
When and in whom will I be satisfied? Do I have to have my way? Is my love for the people around me conditional on the fulfillment of my own needs and expectations? I want to remember when I build up false idols that my satisfaction comes from Christ alone. My salvation is the only thing needed to produce Joy. Therefore, I have ALL I need, in abundance.